Monthly Archives: September 2007

Kite Fest

Today we went down to the Strand (one of our local beaches) to see the kite fest.

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The Strand is always a popular place. It has fabulous public spaces. Most weekends there are lots of weddings held along the shore.

Today it was particularly busy.

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Lots of people wanted to watch the kites in action.

This one looks like a patchwork kite.

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Some disasters occurred.

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But they were quickly remedied.

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We even watched a tandem parachute jump that looked like it would land right in the middle of the kites, but managed to navigate safely to the beach front.

My children were in fine foolish form.

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Notice that my daughter had a fringe (bangs for you guys who don’t know what I mean) cut yesterday. She hasn’t had one since she was quite young. It has afflicted her with a mysterious hair flicking and constant adjusting disease.

Don’t tell her that I said this, but man!. It makes her look a lot like her brother! Look at these green eyes.

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Life is good. Wish it would stay like this.

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Forever Day

In May last year my sister was given the news that she had been allocated a child for adoption. We received this photo of a smiley boy from an orphanage in Taipei. My sister and her husband gave him our grandfather’s name and his paternal grandfather’s name.

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It was a very strange few months, knowing that a boy was waiting for all of us in a place so very far away. We were unable to see him or hear him. We sent him some gifts. We received photos. We thought about him every single day until one day in Spetember when a call came. My sister, her husband and their daughter were told to make arrangements immediately and be in Taipei within a week to collect him.

Today is the anniversay of very day that they first met him. The very day that he first returned with them to their hotel room in a foreign city. The very day that he realised that he had a mummy and a daddy and a big sister. (He didn’t know about the rest of us for another week.)

Today we will have cake and balloons. It is only appropriate. Cake is mandatory at any celebration! We have a lot to celebrate.

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How very fortunate we are! A song for today.

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Paler Shade of Green

We consider ourselves to be environmentally aware. We try to conserve power, we recycle, we use a sprinkler system that is more water-wise. We planted our yard with native plants because they are hardy. We have very little grass in our front yard because it just sucks up water. We enjoy watching the parrots partying in our trees when they are in flower.

Can we still be considered green if this morning I awoke with murderous intent toward a bird? Can I pick and choose which parts of nature I will accept?

If that makes me a hypocrite, then it is a badge that I wear with pride!

It is obviously spring because the storm birds have arrived.  (Go down that page and click on the link to listen to their call.) My mother-in-law calls them storm birds. My Pete and I have another name for them that would curl my mother-in-law’s hair. These little charmers awake with the sun and begin screaming ‘boo-oop’, over and over and over again. They are so loud that they cannot be ignored. My Pete and I do not like to wake with the sun, it makes us cranky. I have been out roaming the yard with a tennis ball in my hand. The dogs can see the wild look in my eyes and won’t even get out of bed to greet me. I have thrown the tennis ball into every branch of every tree, but I can’t find the little mongrel that continues to taunt me with its ‘boo-oop’ cry.

I will find it. I will scare it with a tennis ball.

sigh…then I will probably just have to close all my windows so I can’t hear it any more.

Stupid nature!

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School Holidays…

have begun. YAY!

I suggest that you all go to see Hairspray. I just loved it. I am going to see it again, but you might not want to go to the same session. I intend to sing along next time. I won’t be able to help myself! I love a good sing along musical.

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A Plus

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About ten years ago this three year old said to me, “Mummy, when I grow up I’m going to have a shed. Inside my shed I’m going to put a boat, a tractor and a sewing machine.”

What could be better? His Grandy had a boat in his shed, he was obsessed with any kind of tractor (“Hey look a tractor.” “Actually Mummy that one is a grader. You can tell because it has a long metal scraper on the bottom.” “Oh, sorry.”), and I was always using my sewing machine. He loved to sit and watch me sew. He loved that the fly wheel turned one full revolution every time the needle went up and down. He loved that there was a secret compartment for the bobbin. He loved the metal teeth of the feed dogs. My uncle bought him an old sewing machine and we let him pull it apart with a screw driver to see how it worked. He still loves gears and levers and all mechanical moving parts.

This semester he is doing home economics at school. He was really looking forward to it and had discussed the possibility of continuing with it when he selected his optional subjects for next year. He told me that he was making a bag. He discussed his fabric and his colour selections with me. He thought it was OK to have red with green and brown, what did I think about that?

Yesterday I asked how his bag was going and was told that it was finished and probably in his room. Naturally I wanted to see it right away.

“How did you go with it?” I asked, hoping that he would tell me about his sewing, using the machine and how he had worked on it.

“I only got a C-. “, came the reply. This is not what I had meant, but this is what the bag now means to him.

This really annoys me. Why do we take something that is fun and creative and turn it into a possibility for failure? Why is there not value in just letting him make and create? Why does it have to be for assessment?

Here is his bag:

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“What is the design?” I asked.

“What do you think it is?” he responded. I thought it might be a World of Warcraft symbol. My Pete thought it could be a paint brush. It could also be a flower bud. He was happy with all of these interpretations – he wanted us to create our own meaning from his work. That is a true artist!

I don’t understand why we slowly squeeze creativity out of our children until they become those adults who proclaim themselves to be unable to create. Surely our creativity as a species is the very reason we currently hold this position in the world. Surely the creative thinkers have been pivotal in our development. Surely we should encourage and nurture the creativity of every child. Allow them to think, imagine and problem solve. Making a bag may not solve our current crisis of fossil fuel consumption, but it will allow one boy to fire up his brain to solve problems before him and feel successful about doing so. It will give one boy the confidence to be a thinker and a creator.

Why did he get a C-? His applique stitch is neat:

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His seams are evenly done:

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The only ‘flaw’ I can find is a small pinch on the back.

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He said that he tried to unpick it, but it stiched like this again. This was the moment for him to learn something important. We don’t learn when things work out just fine. We learn when they are not working and we have to consider a new approach, or a different way to do it. The only reason that I go on to make the next quilt is because while I’m making the current one I think of a different / better / more interesting way to do it next time. That thought process is exciting. It wouldn’t be if I was told that my first one was not good enough.

Is he doing home economics next year? Of course not, why would he?

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Good, Bad and Ugly Weekend

I mean that title quite literally!

the good

I have been quilting feathers. For those non-quilty types, feathers are the holy grail of quilting. They are the ultimate quilting design and highly treasured when they are done well. This is my first go on a client quilt. I am VERY happy with the result. (I hope you call by crab-shack dweller, because this is your quilt!)

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I plan to quilt lots of feathers everywhere now!

We went to our son’s soccer break up and he was awarded the most improved player trophy.

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He looks too cool, doesn’t he? He needs a whole new wardrobe. Even shirts just four months old are now too small for him. Do you notice the way he is holding the big trophy? Do you see that one finger is sticking out? That is not just etiquette … it brings us to

the bad

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While at the soccer break up he jarred his finger. He was very quiet after he did this and quite whingy. This is not unlike him when he is hurt. He has a very low pain threshold (he is a sook!) I was sympathetic and got him ice, but I didn’t really look at it until later in the afternoon. This brings us to

the ugly

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That is actually a small fracture in his finger. Nothing major, he just needs to strap it to the next finger for the next four weeks and avoid sport. His finger is sticking out to the side at an angle because he over stretched it in that direction and it is now very swollen and bruised in there. He can’t bring that finger any closer to his middle finger at the moment. Luckily for him he is left handed and this injury is on his right hand, so he doesn’t need to miss any school.

So…how did he do it? On a jumping castle shaped like Superman. It had cylinder shapes inside that made an obstacle course and one of them hit his hand and bent is finger the wrong way.

My son’s comment? “Well, superman is the man of steel, you know.”

If only the trophy had been made of kryptonite!

EDIT: for some reason the comments are not showing here. I can see them on my site, but not on my blog. I will try to work it out. Sorry.

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Looking for me?

I suggest you try a web search for : tight wedgie. Failing that try: boob cake.

 Apparently these two searches have found my blog in the past two days. When did I become the centre for all that is purile??? Good grief!

If I’m not there I’m in my studio, quilting with my music turned up loud. I am the only one at home. I hate to be alone, so loud music fills the house. Quiet is lonely too. So I am filling it with this.

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Do you like the quiet?

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